Portland Consulting Engineering secures £25m contracts in record year

Gateshead-based Portland Consulting Engineering marked its busiest year to date in 2013, securing its highest level of orders since forming in 2004

Mark Grant and Lee Barr, Portland Consulting Engineering
Mark Grant and Lee Barr, Portland Consulting Engineering

A specialist civil and structural design engineering consultancy has grown headcount by 30% following a successful year which has seen it win contracts worth £25m.

Gateshead-based Portland Consulting Engineering marked its busiest year to date in 2013, securing its highest level of orders since forming in 2004.

Having begun with four staff the workforce is now 11 strong as the business recently created new jobs including a trainee technician and dedicated civil and infrastructure senior engineer roles.

The consultancy’s work has also been acknowledged with award success for a second year running when it was presented with Constructing Excellence North East’s Consultancy Practice of the Year and the RICS North East Renaissance Award in the Commercial category.

Portland said it is to continue in this positive vein with lucrative contracts secured across a range of sectors including social housing, student accommodation and further education.

Working on behalf of leading social housing provider The Vela Group, Portland has been appointed to a project to refurbish the derelict Grade II Listed Friarage Manor House, Hartlepool, and convert it into apartments alongside a new-build development of townhouses, bungalows and sheltered apartments for older people.

In York, Portland has been appointed to a new-build teaching facility at Askham Bryan College.

Finally, Portland has been appointed to aid student accommodation company Ziggurat on its conversion of properties at Claremont Place, Newcastle creating 89 self-contained luxury residential studios for students.

The accommodation will complete for the beginning of the 2015 academic year.

Lee Barr, managing director, said: “The past few years have been challenging for anyone in the construction industry and margins remain tight. However, thanks to our strong business model we have not only been able to safeguard jobs, we have been able to create some too.

“We have also invested further in updating our BIM technology to ensure we are in line with the Government’s needs by 2016.

“Whilst we enjoyed our busiest year last year and continue to receive a steady flow of enquiries, ranging in value across a variety of sectors, there is no room for complacency.”

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